Explore free World War I record collections on the FamilySearch website
FamilySearch has marked the centenary of America's entry into World War I by highlighting its millions of free to access records relating to the servicemen of the Great War.
America's entry into World War I came on 6 April 1917. When the U.S. joined the war effort, the Great War had been raging in Europe for almost three years.
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Almost five million American service personnel went to war under the command of General John Pershing, commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Force. More than 116,000 Americans would lose their lives before the end of the war; more than half of the deaths caused by Spanish Flu.
Explore the FamilySearch World War I collections
The FamilySearch World War I record collections comprise millions of documents, including registration cards, service records, census sheets and digitized books.
The best way to begin your search is at the FamilySearch Wiki, which acts as an entry point to the collections. Then, to pinpoint the service details of individuals, explore the World War I draft registration card collection, which contains almost 25 million records, with cards typically including details such as the registrant’s full name, home address, birth date, birthplace, marital status, occupation and physical description.
One less-known collection containing information about the World War I military comes in records from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). This volunteer organization provided programs and supplies to support the troops, the sick and wounded, and prisoners of war. Family Search.org has 27,000 images from the YMCA World War I Service Cards, 1917–1919 collection that provide names, addresses, work, religious affiliation, and army service information.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
(Image "Good bye, Dad, I'm off to fight for Old Glory, you buy U.S. gov't bonds" Third Liberty Loan / / ,Lawrence Harris ; Sackett & Wilhelms Corp. N.Y. © Library of Congress, reproduction no LC-USZ62-42152)